Dave Brownlie’s time away from the ski industry didn’t last long.
On Wednesday, Sept. 5, it was announced that the former Whistler Blackcomb COO has been appointed as president of Revelstoke Mountain Resort (RMR).
“I am excited to be joining the team at RMR to develop and execute plans to build a truly iconic Canadian mountain resort that will attract mountain enthusiasts from around the world,” Brownlie said in a release. “The natural attributes of the mountain, the consistent snowfall, and the many outdoor activities in the region combined with a vibrant and authentic community uniquely positions RMR to become a leader as a year-round destination mountain resort.”
Serving in his new role, Brownlie will “provide leadership and support” to Revelstoke's mountain operations, heli-skiing and real estate development teams, according to the release.
“We are excited to have Dave join the team, bringing his knowledge, experience, and leadership to RMR as we launch the next phase of development,” said Tom Gaglardi, president and CEO of Northland Properties, RMR’s parent company. “Dave will be a tremendous asset to our company and is exactly the person we need to help execute our vision.”
The hire comes more than a year after Brownlie stepped down from his role at Whistler Blackcomb (WB). Starting his career 30 years ago as the director of finance for what was then Blackcomb Mountain, Brownlie helped usher the ski resort into the modern era, overseeing a massive merger, multiple ownership changes and a successful 2010 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games.
He was instrumental in bringing the Peak 2 Peak Gondola to fruition, and played a key role in the negotiations that led to the February 2017 signing of a historic 60-year Master Development Agreement between WB, the province, and the local Squamish and Lil’wat First Nations.
More recently, of course, Brownlie helped in WB’s transition to Vail Resorts, a former competitor that purchased the ski resort in a $1.4-billion friendly takeover two years ago.
Speaking with Pique last summer shortly before his final day on the job,, Brownlie said he knew his role would be changing “pretty substantially” following the 2016 purchase.
"Now we're part of a bigger company. It operates differently, and it's a very successful company. Looking at that and looking at where we were going—maybe I had such a high watermark for what I was doing before—I felt it was time for me to move on,” he said at the time.
Brownlie takes over a resort that celebrated its 10th anniversary season last year with record-breaking snowfall and visitation. “Looking ahead, RMR is well positioned for growth and continues to build awareness on a global scale,” the release reads.
For more on this story, pick up next week’s issue of Pique.